the bridge had sufficiently progressed to cause any attempt at throwing re-enforcements across both difficult and hazardous; then he (Lieutenant Wright) was to rejoin me with his command. It was my intention, after crossing the bridge, to divide my force, and to place one portion under the command of Major Garlington, which would proceed up the main road to Hanahan's house, the headquarters of the enemy, on Little Edisto, and I, with the other portion, would move along a by-path across the field be a more direct route; but after a consultation with Major Garlington we deemed it prudent not to divide our force, as it was necessary to leave two companies at the bridge, in consequence of the combustible material which had been prepared for setting it on fire failing to reach us in time.
Striking a direct course for Hanahan's house we pushed forward at the double-quick, but had not proceeded more than a quarter of a mile before we succeed in capturing 3 prisoners, who, upon being questioned, asserted that they had one regiment upon Little Edisto Island. Having Captains Smith's and Crawley's companies in front, and not knowing where the enemy was stationed, I ordered Captain Bomar to throw his company to the right and make a reconnaissance in that direction. He had not proceeded far when the enemy opened fire upon him from behind a ditch and bank about 100 or 150 yards off, which fire was promptly returned by his company. I immediately ordered Captains Maffett and Heller to the support of Captain Bomar. Our men, succeeding in getting under cover of the bank, opened a sharp five upon the place from which the fire of the enemy proceeded, and soon drove them from their position; but not being able to see, on account of the density of the fog, and supposing their main force at the house when they retired, I took it for granted they had fallen back to that position, and in the mean time Captains Smith and Crawley came up with 14 other prisoners, which they had captured.
I then ordered Major Garlington, with Captains Maffett's and Heller's companies, to attack the house, and the remainder of the force to support the attack. With a yell and at the double-quick they charged the house, but to their astonishment found only two or three of the enemy, who fled at their approach and escaped under cover of a dense fog.
The forces left for the destruction of the bridge, having accomplished their object, rejoined me shortly after I had taken possession of the house, but too late to take part in the skirmish. Having executed your orders in reference to the attack upon the enemy, and not seeing the flats which were ordered to be sent to me there, I immediately commenced crossing the prisoners and troops in a small boat, capable of carrying only 5 persons, which I found at the landing. I was therefore obliged to land on the opposite shore, from which place we had to march through a marsh about three-fourths of a mile in length.
Not being able to make an examination of the ground on which the skirmish took place, I am unable to give an exact account of the loss the enemy sustained. I know only of 1 being killed, 1 wounded and captured, together with 18 privates and non-commissioned officers and 1 first lieutenant, all of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment; making a total of 21 in killed, wounded, and captured. We also took some arms, accouterments, and baggage, but not being able to bring them off, most of the things were destroyed. I was obliged, on account of the sickness of one of the prisoners, to leave him.
I have the satisfaction of reporting that my command sustained no loss, and only 2 men slightly wounded, 1 belonging to Captain Bomar's and the other to Captain Bishop's companies.